If you’re dealing with a mental health problem or difficulties in your personal life, a therapist can be a good solution for that. However, the price a therapist charges can be too much for some people.
In regards to therapy that happens in-person, it can be easier to find free or low-cost therapy. Sliding scale therapy makes it easy to pay what you afford. Many therapists offer pro bono slots. There are community health centers that offer therapy for free or for little money. Plus, many therapists accept insurance.
With online therapy, it’s a little more complicated. For online therapy services, many of them do not take insurance or have therapists who work for free. It can be a little disheartening but don’t lose hope. Here are several ways you can find an online psychologist or therapist for free or for little money.
Online therapy websites tend to offer free trials. You may be able to get a week or so of therapy without paying, and if you are satisfied, you can then pay for therapy. Canceling is usually easy, too.
Obviously, a week of therapy will not fix your issues unless they are minor. But with online therapy, text and email communication allows you to get your week’s worth. You can get the basics out of the way and get the ball rolling. Then, you can decide if online therapy is worth pursuing or not.
Some Online Therapy Providers Accept Insurance
With insurance, therapy can be low cost or even free. However, finding insurance that provides free online counseling is a little complicated. Insurance companies can be stubborn in regards to mental health treatment, with some providers still refusing to cover traditional therapy. However, some services do. It won’t hurt to check with your insurance plan, then look for a service that can take your insurance.
Some Traditional Therapists Can Communicate With Online Therapy
Because of COVID-19, many therapists who typically served their clients in-person now have some online therapy features, such as video chat. As you know, traditional therapy is a lot more lenient. Some therapists do pro bono, others have a sliding scale payment, and many will take insurance.
Your best bet is to talk to some local therapists in your area and see if they do online therapy. Most people have the resources to do so, but some have not taken the leap, either because they prefer in-person or because they haven’t considered it yet. Perhaps you can work a deal.
Look to Your School Counselors
If you’re in college, you can get free counseling. Some counselors may have online services available, be it an email exchange or a webcam session. Don’t be afraid to ask. Since you’re already paying for college, it’s worth it to take advantage of all the services offered by them and get help during a time that is quite stressful for you.
Can Talking With People Online Help?
Some people may think of free online therapy as going to a message board or group who share a common interest or problem, and then talking about your issues. We are not here to dismiss help from anonymous people online; there are many instances of people online offering great advice. However, there are a few risks, such as.
- Most people online are not experts. They may be able to give you personal stories, but they’re not able to help you figure out what works for you. What helped them may not help you, for example.
- People online can be enabling. They may tell you something you want to hear, especially on a social media platform, where disagreement is frowned upon. For example, some people may tell you that you’re fine just the way you are, even if you want to improve. Or, they may have a difficult time understanding how you feel about something because they have no clue how depression feels.
- You also have to worry about trolls. Some people will give you the wrong advice or try to upset you because they believe that it feels good to hurt others. As they say, you shouldn’t feed the trolls.
However, it’s sometimes hard to tell legitimate advice apart from harmful advice, and it can be a challenge to deal with people whose purpose is to hurt you.
Online Therapy Tends to Be Cheaper and Easier to Pay for Than Traditional Therapy
With that said, online therapy can be a lot cheaper than in-person therapy, and you may find that biting the bullet and paying for it isn’t as bad as you thought, and is quite beneficial. Here are some reasons why online therapy is worth it.
- You can select between tiered payment plans. If you need the basic package, it will cost less than the premium. While the premium package may offer some services, such as more video chats, people on a budget can get by with the basic deal, usually.
- You can see how much you will be billed a week, as well as a month. There’s usually no strings attached with online therapy; what you see is what you pay. This can help your financial decisions be easier. For instance, you can save up money to pay for online therapy, or cancel if you’re low on money.
- Getting help is ultimately worth the price. Being able to be happier, or to learn skills you originally thought were unlearnable, feels so good and can let you live a better life.
Remember, Online Therapy is a New Frontier
While online therapy has been around in some capacity since the early days of the Internet, it began to take off truly in the 2010s. It’s still a new platform, and because of this, ways like providing free therapy to clients are still being figured out.
It may be easier to find free online therapy in the future, and we hope so. Everyone should get help, regardless of income.
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